5 of the best new cruise itineraries for 2022
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In 2021, we saw cruising return to a state of semi-normalcy, as all major cruise lines brought at least some of their vessels back into service. Although foreign ports are still limited for North Americans at the start of 2022, it looks like this will be the first year since the start of the pandemic where we see far-flung itineraries picking up steam.
If you are considering a cruise in the coming year and you’re in the mood for something different, you’ll want to take a look at this list of some of the newest and most unique itineraries you can book right now for sailings through 2022. Because most are total budget busters, we’ll also offer some suggestions for maximizing your purchase.
Note: All prices are before taxes and fees, unless otherwise noted. Prices were accurate at the time of publication but are subject to change at any time.
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Western coast of Africa with Hurtigruten
In a first for Hurtigruten, the line is offering a selection of sailings around the west coast of Africa, including Senegal, The Gambia, the islands of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau’s Bissagos Islands, which are made up of more than 80 beachy islands and islets (only about 20 of which are populated year-round).
Cape Verde voyages are rare, making this ideal for anyone wishing to check the country off their bucket list. Plus, with Hurtigruten’s rapid expansion beyond its traditional Norway offerings and into expedition cruising, you can be one of the first to try out this first-for-the-line itinerary, which will be available five times in late 2022 (and into early 2023), departing from Dakar, Senegal.
Details: These 14-night sailings on Hurtigruten’s Spitsbergen depart from Dakar in November and December. Prices start at $5,636 per person, double occupancy, for an inside cabin. More information can be found on Hurtigruten Expeditions’ website.
Pacific Islands with Seabourn
Longing to get away for more than just a week or two? Beginning in the fall of 2022, Seabourn is featuring a 65-day cruise to Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and Australia. The trip will visit 41 ports across 12 countries, and the vessel — Seabourn Odyssey — will stay in port for five overnights throughout the voyage. In addition to the Hawaiian Islands, the ship will call on French Polynesia, the Cook and Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Australia’s Cairns, Queensland, Brisbane and Sydney, among other locations.
Given that this area of the world has largely been locked down for nearly two years due to COVID-19, this could be one of the first chances to visit — and if you’re new to the region, it’s a great way to cover a lot of ground all at once to maximize your investment.
Details: This 65-night sailing on Seabourn Odyssey departs from Vancouver, British Columbia, on Sept. 30, 2022. Prices start at $41,999 per person, double occupancy, for an oceanview cabin (the most basic available). Find more information on Seabourn’s website.
More than $600 per person, per day, is a steep price for many travelers, but if you book by Feb. 28, 2022, you’ll snag a ton of included extras, such as free round-trip airfare; door-to-door car service from your home to the airport; a pre-cruise hotel stay in Vancouver; up to $2,000 in onboard credit per stateroom ($3,000 per suite); free Wi-Fi; luggage shipping service; unlimited onboard laundry, dry-cleaning and pressing services; and discounts of 3% if you pay in full at the time of booking.
Iceland (from Boston) with Holland America
Seeking a slightly more affordable option that leaves from closer to home? Holland America‘s Iceland circumnavigation sailing from the U.S. East Coast could be just the ticket — especially if you live in the Northeast, which means you’d be able to visit Iceland without a single flight.
This itinerary begins in Boston on Nieuw Statendam, the first of Holland America’s Pinnacle-class vessels to sail in Canada and New England. In early August, the ship will make its debut in the region with this 24-day voyage, which will visit Maine in the U.S., Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in Canada, and eight ports across Greenland and Iceland, including Reykjavik (with an overnight) and Akureyri.
Details: This nearly sold-out cruise currently has only oceanview and balcony cabins left. Guarantee oceanviews (meaning the cruise line will choose your cabin for you within the oceanview category) start at $8,569 per person, double occupancy. The 24-night sailing on Nieuw Statendam departs from Boston on Aug. 3, 2022. For more information, see the Holland America website.
Indonesia’s tropical islands with Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad Expeditions brings impressive itineraries to the table, but along with those come eye-popping cruise fares. If the sky’s the limit when it comes to your budget, however, consider Lindblad’s sailing to (or from) the islands of Indonesia in fall 2022. Departing from Bali, National Geographic Orion will take you to Solomon Island via Komodo Island, Raja Ampat, Samarai Island and more. The reverse itinerary is also available.
Known for its stunning colors, pristine beaches and unparalleled snorkeling and diving, this area of the world is ideal for those who enjoy tropical climates and plenty of time outdoors.
Details: National Geographic Orion will depart for the 21-night Bali-to-Solomon Island sailing on Oct. 7, 2022, and the 21-night Solomon Island-to-Bali cruise on Nov. 28, 2022. These voyages start at $19,480 per person, double occupancy — a staggering $928 per person, per night — for an oceanview stateroom. The price includes meals, alcohol (except premium brands), excursions, gratuities, taxes and fees. It does not include Wi-Fi, laundry or other onboard purchases.
Flights are also not included, and since these trips don’t end in the same port where they begin, airfare will be another considerable expense. (For option one, passengers will need to fly to Bali, then from Solomon Island to Brisbane and Brisbane home. For option two, they will have to fly to Brisbane, from Brisbane to Solomon Island and then from Bali home.) You can learn more about these offerings on Lindblad’s website.
Russia’s White Sea with Hurtigruten
Hurtigruten Expeditions’ new itineraries are so impressive, we’re including a second one as a recommendation. This time, the line’s Spitsbergen will spend 17 days cruising the White Sea, featuring Norway and Russia. Highlights of the trip are the Norwegian fjords, Norway’s Lofoten Islands and North Cape, as well as Murmansk and the Slovetsky Islands in Russia.
These ports will give passengers a chance to witness some of the region’s arctic beauty and experience small fishing towns as well as larger cities, such as Bergen, Norway, from which the sailing departs.
Details: MS Spitsbergen sets sail from Bergen on Oct. 6, 2022, for this 17-day expedition trip. Prices begin at $9,160 per person, double occupancy, for interior accommodations. Details can be found on Hurtigruten’s website.
Best ways to book for added value
The name of the game here at TPG is to help you travel better and more affordably. Whether you’re trying to use some of your hard-earned points or figure out how to earn the most bang for your buck when booking, here are some solid ways to make one of the above voyages work for you if you’re considering taking the plunge.
Use a card that gives you something back
If you’re going to put a huge purchase — like one of these cruises — on a credit card, be sure to use one that will give you points or cash back. A great option is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which allows you to apply the miles you earn at a 1 cent per mile ratio to statement charges that code as travel. You’d need a ton of miles to cover the whole cost, but it can definitely help offset the overall price.
If you book through the American Express Cruise Privileges Program and pay with The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can get an onboard credit of up to $300 per room and added amenities, which vary by cruise line. Holland America and Seabourn are both partners in the program. Plus, if you book a qualifying sailing, you’ll earn two points per dollar spent. Even if you don’t book through the program or sail with one of the member cruise lines, you’ll still earn one point per dollar spent if you use your Amex Platinum for payment via a different booking platform.
Utilize your other affiliations
If you’re a World of Hyatt member, you can use points to book Lindblad Expeditions sailings. Alternatively, if you’re trying to earn instead of burn, you’ll collect five points per dollar spent on Lindblad sailings when you book through Hyatt’s FIND platform. You’ll also earn applicable elite status bonuses — and get $250 in credit to spend onboard.
Book through a travel agent
If you don’t have any of the above cards, you’re not planning to book through a specific travel portal or you’re new to cruising and simply don’t feel comfortable making your own arrangements, enlist the help of a travel agent. Not only will they make sure all of your payments and paperwork are in order, but they will serve as a point person if something goes wrong during your trip. Plus, they might be able to provide added value in the form of onboard credit, complimentary specialty dining or bottles of welcome Champagne.
For more cruise coverage, check out our 2022 Cruise Extravaganza.
Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:
- The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
- The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
- A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
- 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
- 15 ways cruisers waste money
- 12 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
- What to pack for a cruise
Featured photo courtesy of Hurtigruten Expeditions/Shutterstock.
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